Southport, Connecticut (August 2022) Earth Animal is taking yet another step in its commitment to animal welfare by signing The Better Chicken Commitment (BCC), in cooperation with animal welfare organizations including Compassion in World Farming and the ASPCA® (The American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®). Earth Animal joins 220 companies in the human food space and is just the 5th signatory in the pet food industry to commit.
“We believe that all animals deserve to live a good life, and therefore we have a fundamental responsibility to protect and advocate for the animals in our families and those that areborn, raised, and slaughtered for our pet foods and other pet products,” says Earth Animal co-founder Susan Goldstein. “We adopted the pet industry’s first comprehensive Animal Welfare Framework in 2022 where we committed to setting objectives and targets to improve the welfare of animals in our supply chain. Because chicken is our most used protein, the BCC is the logical first step in actively promoting animal welfare throughout our source ingredients.”
The Better Chicken Commitment is a science-based chicken welfare policy developed by a group of animal welfare organizations – the ASPCA, CIWF (Compassion in World Farming), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and Mercy for Animals, amongst others. The standards address animal welfare issues related to breeding for fast growth and high yield, housing conditions, stocking density and slaughter. While Earth Animal has used only G.A.P.-certified poultry in its food, the BCC adds specific time-bound commitments to improving its chicken supply.
“The ASPCA commissioned a survey in the first six months of COVID demonstrating that the more consumers know about the many concerning issues related to industrial farming, the more interested they are in changing their consumption habits,” says Stewart Shanley, Earth Animal’s CEO. “We are proud to be a pioneer in the pet industry by providing pet parents more humane options.”
“We celebrate Earth Animal’s efforts to support the international movement to improve the lives of farm animals by adopting the Better Chicken Commitment,” says Nancy Roulston, senior director of corporate policy & animal scientist, ASPCA Farm Animal Welfare. “This follows two other impressive steps taken by the company: launching its Animal Welfare Framework and earning G.A.P. certification for chicken. We are proud to showcase Earth Animal’s dog food on the ASPCA’s Shop With Your Heart® grocery list, which connects caring consumers to more compassionate companies.”
“Chickens raised for meat, also known as broiler chickens, make up approximately 95% of the farm animals in our food system. Over nine billion are raised and slaughtered each year in the United States,” said Julia Johnson, Senior Food Business Manager, Compassion in World Farming USA. “By announcing their pledge to the Better Chicken Commitment, Earth Animal is demonstrating that they care about the quality of life these chickens have, as well as transparency to their customers about their own elevated sourcing standards.”
Compassion USA’s food business managers and animal welfare specialists are working with companies like Earth Animal to raise the standard of chicken welfare throughout the U.S. and worldwide. To help improve the lives of animals raised for food, the charity publishes reports EggTrack and ChickenTrack-that track companies’ progress in both the broiler chicken and laying hen industries, ensuring transparency in the marketplace for consumers. The U.S. Working Group for Broiler Welfare, also co-hosted by Compassion USA, supports and brings together leading food businesses by exploring workable strategies and creative solutions for transitioning supply chains through the welfare standards outlined in the BCC.
In accordance with the BCC Version 2, by 2024, Earth Animal will require its chicken suppliers to meet the following requirements for 100% of their products:
- Maximum stocking density of 0lbs/ft2 and prohibit broiler cages.
- Provide birds enriched environments including litter, lighting and enrichment
- Process chickens in a manner that avoids pre-stun handling and instead utilizes a multi-step controlled-atmosphere processing system that induces an irreversible stun
- Demonstratecompliance with all standards via third-party auditing
- And, by 2026, they must adopt breeds that demonstrate higher welfare outcomes that meet the criteria of the RSPCA Broiler Breed Welfare Assessment Protocol or Global Animal Partnership (G.A.P.).
About Earth Animal
In 1979, Dr. Bob and Susan Goldstein, co-founders of Earth Animal, embraced the transition from conventional veterinary medicine to an integrative and holistic approach focusing on the whole animal. Since then, Earth Animal’s focus has been to pioneer another way – a more holistic, humane, and sustainable way to nurture health and longevity for dogs and cats.
Earth Animal proudly dedicates 1% of its annual net sales to organizations, industry stewardship, and mission-driven efforts that preserve and enhance quality of life for animals, people, and the Earth. Their commitment to sustainability continues to deepen, centered on reducing its dependence on factory-farmed animals, mitigating its environmental impact, and using sustainable business practices to drive success and inspire the pet industry to do the same.
Earth Animal products can be found at independent pet shops nationwide. Please visit www.earthanimal.com/find to find a store near you.
About Compassion in World Farming
Compassion in World Farming was founded in 1967 by a British dairy farmer who became horrified at the development of intensive factory farming. Today Compassion is a global movement dedicated to ending factory farming and achieving humane and sustainable food. With headquarters in the UK, we have offices across Europe, the U.S., China and South Africa. To find out more about Compassion in World Farming, visit www.ciwf.com